Chapter Eleven: Look Back To See Ahead

       What do you remember about your Public School years? Do you have memories of exciting discoveries in education? Do you remember that electric thrill when you discovered how to add? Do you remember the joy of one-on-one conversations with your teacher about clouds and bugs? Do you remember a warm sense of belonging and security? Do you remember the kindness of schoolmates? Do you remember the satisfaction of creating things from wood, yarn, metal, paint, paper etc.? No? Then you are like me and millions of others.

      The first thing I remember about kindergarten was getting the tar beat out of me by some boy that I didn’t know. The kindergarten teacher picked me off the floor and put me in my seat. There was nothing said. There was no reason given. There was no apology. She didn’t seem to notice my fat lip. I can’t remember anything that I learned that first year. Did I learn to read? Did I learn to write? I have no idea!

       What did you learn in kindergarten? Social skills? Ask yourself why the Public School demands your little one at such an early age. What would he learn if he were with you as a five-year-old? Do you think that he wouldn’t learn to read if you wanted him to? Of course he would! He has the God-given ability to absorb knowledge at a stunning rate if he is free to do it. You’ve already seen it.

       What do you remember about third grade? You were seven or eight years old. What do you remember about your teacher? Did you talk to her any time you wanted? Did you get the attention you needed? What do you remember about your class? What did you learn? What was your schoolroom like? Your playground? I remember Mrs. Nelson shaking me senseless. I giggled and laughed too much. Mrs. Nelson made the mistake of seating me by Marnae. We giggled when we should have been doing something else that was quiet. Mrs. Nelson came from behind me and shook me so hard that I was dizzy. From then on I was terrified of her. It was real terror not the silly way a kid is afraid of getting caught for mischief.

       In fifth grade Mrs. Birch ruled her kingdom with an iron hand. She smacked Kurt’s knuckles with a ruler. She pulled my hair (more than once). Her response to any silliness or rule breaking was swift and severe. Her class was extremely well-behaved. We worked liked a well-oiled machine. I do remember learning some things in her class.

        I also remember that month when she was ill. Sometimes the poor substitute teacher’s hair was covered in spit-wads. The class goal was to get her to lose her cool before lunch each day. Mostly we succeeded. We were unruly. We were tardy. It was a non-stop party for days. It all ended for me the day I saw the poor bedraggled lady at her desk crying into her hands. I went to her desk and apologized. No more party for me. Why did such an orderly group turn into a mob of little barbarians? Did we act like that at home? I know I didn’t! Only as an adult can I see the correlation between Mrs. Birch’s methods and their results. And she spent more time with us in a day than our parents did.

       I bet you can remember junior high! But what did you learn? Do you remember any of the math or English? A lot of the things I wish I had never learned, I learned at lunch hour or on the bus during junior. high. Why did I think it would be any different when I sent my own kids to school? It sounds like things are actually worse now.

      At the middle school level your little one would get his mediocre education and much, much more! By seventh grade most Public School students have already seen all there is to see and knows all there is to know about drugs, alcohol and sex (including gay and lesbian). And now they are in the perfect environment to try it all out. They continue to be bored out of their skulls. They are confined and patronized. If this isn’t the perfect breeding ground (yes that was intended) for trouble, what is? And yet well-intentioned parents continue to send them there day after day. Most of the kids at this age hate school. Why? They are beginning to see it for what it is. And still they are forced and coerced into going.

        As little people become irritable and combative their parents say they’ll grow out of it. But they are growing into it, as home, family and the real world are becoming less familiar, less important to them. I am amazed at parents’ reaction when they see their kids become more and more insolent and sullen. Parents think it’s a teenager thing. But it is a Public School thing. There are many thousands of teens that are happy, bright and confident young men and women. I know many of them. The difference? Their parents don’t force them to go to Public School.

       There are many Public School inmates that learn to just turn the school attitude off as they walk in the door at the end of the day. The parent is clueless about the depraved place they send their kid day after day. What’s more troubling, is that the school staff is probably clueless too!

       What did you learn in the Public School? How long did it take you to learn to read and write? At what age could you multiply and divide? Do you know why there are so many education programs being marketed? Because people are waking up to the fact that children can learn at an amazing rate if in the right environment. They retain what they learn when they discover it. Parents all over the country want more for their little ones than what they themselves got. And they seem to know that the Public School system isn’t going to help them. So the burgeoning education market fills the need. Parents must have something to supplement the deficient Public School. This is the same reason you see more and more charter and private schools. There are online schools. And best of all, there is homeschooling.